Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Breakthrough sleep apnea treatment available for patients unable to use CPAP

Stil Kountakis, MD, PhD

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder that affects 18 million Americans. When left untreated, it can lead to devastating effects on heart and brain health, impair quality of life and increase motor vehicle and occupational accident risk. While Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is an effective front line treatment, studies show that long term adherence rates are less than 50%.
Augusta University Health is now offering a breakthrough treatment option for obstructive sleep apnea patients unable to use or get benefit from CPAP called Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation therapy.
Before going to bed, the patient turns Inspire therapy on with the small, handheld Inspire Sleep Remote. While the patient is sleeping, Inspire monitors each breath he or she takes. Mild, rhythmic stimulation is delivered to the hypoglossal nerve, moving the tongue and other soft tissues out of the airway. Upper airway tone is restored, allowing the patient to breathe during sleep.
The Inspire system consists of a stimulation lead and a breathing sensor, powered by a small battery. The system is placed under the skin of the neck and chest through three small incisions during an outpatient procedure. Most patients return home the same day and take over-the-counter pain medications as needed.
The safety and efficacy of Inspire therapy was measured during the STAR clinical trial. One-year STAR trial results were published in January 9th, 2014 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, showing patients using Inspire therapy had significant reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in quality of life measures. These significant reductions and improvements were sustained over a 5-year follow-up period. As of May 2018, there have been over 50 peer-reviewed publications on Inspire therapy.
Inspire is indicated for patients who are:
• Diagnosed with moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea
• Unable to use or get benefit from CPAP
• Not obese
• Age 22+
If you manage sleep apnea patients who are struggling with CPAP, we would be happy to evaluate them to see if they may qualify for Inspire UAS therapy.

Meet Dr. Reyes to discuss your patient needs by calling 706-721-4435.



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